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  • Organization 90% 90%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Security 80% 80%
  • Laptop Protection 80% 80%
  • Weight 80% 80%

Price: $299

Weight: 3.12lbs (1.415kg)

Dimensions: 21.6×13.7×7.87”

Capacity: 35l

Laptop Size: 16” 

What We Like: Included rain cover, laptop suspension system. 

What We Don’t: Harness stowing system.

Minaal really tried to separate itself from the one bag travel backpack competition with the finer details. The laptop storage pocket is the most advanced I have seen, and I put my laptop in there with no fear. The included rain cover was also a very nice touch that helped make the Carry-on 2.0 stand out amongst its peers. Even the design was a nice mix of business meets pleasure. The price is a bit steep for this style of backpack, which is why I couldn’t award it any additional credit, but if you have the cash the Minaal Carry-on 2.0 is a worthy sidekick to have as a world traveler. 

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Pros

Laptop and Electronic Storage Pocket

Harness System

Cons

Boxy shape

Material Aesthetic

Weight: 5.1lbs (1.7kg)

Dimensions: 22x14x9” 

Capacity: 45l

Laptop Size: 17”

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Pros

Slim Design

Can Accommodate a 17” Laptop.

Cons

Looks Like a Suitcase with Backpack Straps.

Weight: 3.9lbs (2.4kg)

Dimensions: 22x14x9” 

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Pros

Zipper Security Systems

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Cons

Top Loading

Weight: 2.6lbs (1.17kg)

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Great Harness System

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Cons

Laptop Sleeve Location

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Pros

Multiple Access Points

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Cons

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Pros

Made for Travel and Outdoor Adventures

Cons

Limited Organization

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Pros

Adjustable Hipbelt

Good Company Values

Cons

Thin Harness System

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Cons

Small Size

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Pros

Waterproof

Water Bottle Pocket

Cons

Odd External Material Set Up

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Dimensions: 21x13x6.5” (expands to 7.5”)

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Best Travel Backpacks: Minaal Carry-on 2.0 Bag - Gear Hacker

Buy now at Minaal.com

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Pros

Included Rain Cover

Laptop Suspension System

Cons

Harness Stowing System

Weight: 3.12lbs (1.415kg)

Dimensions: 21.6x13.7x7.87”

Capacity: 35l

Laptop Size: 16”

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Pros

Looks Great

Waterproof Material

Cons

Hard to Organize

Limited Pockets

Weight: 3.3lbs (1.5kg)

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Capacity: 40l

Laptop Size: 15”

I’m not quite sure why the travel bag industry is full of small Kickstarter companies, but I’m not complaining. Minaal is another example of a pair of friends who wanted to create the perfect travel bag and, using Kickstarter, were able to make it happen. This pair of New Zealanders launched their Kickstarter journey in 2013 and were backed extremely quickly. From that moment, the Minaal Carry-on was born, and after an update, the Minaal Carry-on 2.0 is their new flagship one bag travel product. 

The Carry-on 2.0 has a few more curves than some of the other boxier travel bags that have been reviewed. The curves make it much more aesthetically pleasing, so you won’t stick out as much in a large crowd with a pack that screams: “I just got off a plane!” Let’s dive in and see what Minaal has offered with the Carry-on 2.0.

Best Travel Backpacks: Minaal Carry-on 2.0 Bag - Gear Hacker

Storage

With a 35l capacity, the Minaal Carry-on 2.0 is set up for 3-7 days of travel, depending on how tight you can roll your clothes. Inside of the main compartment, besides a fair amount of room for your luggage, are two zippered 3-d pockets. These pockets are expandable and give you room to store bulkier items or to hide your socks and delicates. The other side of the main compartment has a “scooped” build, so you can pack this side with your clothes and everything will stay within the pack while it’s being loaded and can be closed easily.

Inside of the clamshell laptop pocket, there are a few smaller pockets and a document pocket. These organizational areas help keep all of your business or important travel documents in the same area, and there is a passport pocket as well.

There are two smaller zippered pockets on the top of the pack. These pockets are great for storing passports, phones, and other miscellaneous valuables. Inside the small pocket, there is a key clip, so you don’t have to worry about losing your keys while on the move. There is a water bottle pocket on the side of the pack, but it is a bit lackluster and would not be able to hold a very large water bottle. I like the simplicity of the storage and the convenience of everything because, with some of the packs, I’m always worried I’ll lose something because I’ll put it in a pocket that I may never find again.

Best Travel Backpacks: Minaal Carry-on 2.0 Bag - Gear Hacker

Laptop Sleeve

Minaal has done an excellent job with the laptop pocket and sleeve. The pocket is independent from the rest of the pack, and it is at the back, closest to the body of the wearer. This helps to bring the heavier items to the back for a nicer carry and adds an extra level of protection for the electronics. 

Minaal has also incorporated their DeviceNest shockproof device sleeve, which secures your laptop to the back frame of the pack and keeps it from being shaken around while in motion. There is a similar sleeve for a tablet as well, which is connected to the laptop sleeve for ultimate electronic protection. The laptop sleeve’s maximum capacity is a 16” computer, and the tablet sleeve will hold an 11” device as well. 

Best Travel Backpacks: Minaal Carry-on 2.0 Bag - Gear Hacker

Comfort and Harness System

There are some very interesting features included in the harness system of the Carry-on 2.0. The shoulder straps are well-padded and contoured for comfort, and the pack has a detachable hip belt. The exciting parts are the load lifters, which are connected with a magnet system, and the sternum strap that has a “holster.” The sternum strap with the “male” buckle can be clipped onto its own shoulder strap so that it is tucked out of the way while not in use. This is an interesting feature and something I never thought I needed, but the ability to have one less thing bouncing around on my chest was a nice addition.

The backpanel is well padded and includes some minor venting to keep airflow. It is a well-developed harness system and carries well while fully loaded over longer distances. The design of the pack keeps bulky heavier items closer to your back and center of gravity, so it makes for a more natural carry as well.

The harness system can be covered by a zippered sheet to make the pack more streamline similar to the system the Osprey Farpoint uses. The negative of this set-up is that the zippers are always visible and can get damaged as they are always exposed. It is an easy way to hide the straps but may not be as durable. Other travel packs like the Peak Design Travel pack have adopted slightly more innovative methods of stowing their straps that do not require zippers and may last longer.

Best Travel Backpacks: Minaal Carry-on 2.0 Bag - Gear Hacker

Security and Material

Minaal used a 600D nylon for their Carry-on 2.0 with some smaller sections of 1000D nylon in high abrasion zones. The pack also comes with an included rain cover that has a very subtle pocket, so it can stay hidden while not in use. An included rain cover is a great addition, as nylon is known to be moderately weather-resistant but having a cover gives you much greater peace of mind while on the go in rainy cities. Nothing is worse than arriving at your destination with wet clothes and a potentially damaged laptop, and the included rain cover will help in preventing that.

Along the main compartment pocket and laptop pocket are lockable YKK zippers to further secure your main cargo and your electronics. Lockable zippers have been a staple in travel packs for years, so it is good to see that companies are still utilizing these easy security measures.

Best Travel Backpacks: Minaal Carry-on 2.0 Bag - Gear Hacker

The Bottom Line

Minaal has done a very good job keeping the Carry-on 2.0 looking like a real backpack and not a boxy carry-on. The main compartment and laptop sleeves are well thought out and will keep you feeling organized and not worrying about your laptop.

The material is durable and with an included rain cover, your peace of mind will be at ease as you explore new cities or rush to a business meeting in a rainstorm. The harness system is comfortable and has some very cool features that will keep everything in check while you are on the go. The only issue I have with the pack is the harness stowing system. The full zipper flap is not as durable as other options and will have half a zipper visible at all times, taking away from the otherwise very good looking pack. For $300, it is in the upper price bracket, but if you are constantly traveling with a laptop, it is one of the most secure one bag travel options out there.

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